Paris Peace Conf. 180.03401/73

CF–73

Notes of a Meeting Held at President Wilson’s House in the Place des Etats-Unis on Monday, June 16, at 5:45 p.m.

  • Present
    • United States of America
      • President Wilson
    • British Empire
      • The Rt. Hon. D. Lloyd George, M. P.
    • France
      • M. Clemenceau
    • Italy
      • Baron Sonnino
    • Japan
      • Baron Makino
Lt. Col. Sir Maurice Hankey, K. C. B. } Secretaries.
M. di Martino
Professor P. J. Mantoux—Interpreter.

1. The initials of the representatives of the Principal Allied and Associated Powers were given to the following documents;—connected with the Naval, Military and Air Clauses:— Military, Naval and Air Clauses: Commissions of Control and General Clauses

(a)
Inter-Allied Commissions of Control.
(b)
General Clauses.

Sir Maurice Hankey was instructed to communicate these to the Secretary-General for the information of the Drafting Committee.

2. The Political Clauses for the Austrian Treaty as submitted by the Committee of Foreign Ministers or their representatives (Appendix

I) were approved and initialled by the representatives of the Council of the Principal Allied and Associated Powers. The remainder of the Political Clauses dealing with Economic and Financial matters which had been approved on Friday, June 6th, (C. F. 50, Min. 1.,)1 were also initialled. Austrian Treaty: Political Clauses

Sir Maurice Hankey was instructed to communicate both the above to the Secretary-General for the information of the Drafting Committee.

3. Sir Maurice Hankey was instructed to notify the Secretary-General that the various additions to complete the Treaty of Peace with Austria, which had been approved during the day, namely, the Military Clauses and Political Clauses, should be forwarded to the Austrian Delegation as soon as the Drafting Committee had put them into final shape. Additions to the Treaty of Peace With Austria

[Page 513]

4. Baron Sonnino said that at Constantinople there was a Venetian Palace which Italy would like to acquire as part of her share of reparation. The Venetian coat-of-arms was on the Palace at Palace and it had been used as the Austrian Embassy in Constantinople. Italy had not been able to claim it under the addition to the financial clauses relating to palaces in transferred territory. The Palace had been occupied by the Italians since the Armistice when the Austrians had gone out of it. They only asked for it as a part of their share of reparation, according to its value. To grant this would hurt no-one and would give great historical satisfaction from a Venetian point of view. The Venetian Palace at Constantinople

President Wilson said it was introducing a new principle to transfer buildings in foreign territory in this way.

Baron Sonnino read Article 260 of the Treaty of Peace with Germany to show that the principle was not a new one. He proposed the following draft:—

“Le ‘Palais de Venise’ à Constantinople, les autres immeubles affeetés à l’usage de l’Ambassade, du Consulat, des écoles et de l’hôpital austro-hongrois dans la même ville et leurs annexes, ainsi que l’église et le couvent de Sainte-Marie en Draperia, seront cédés à l’Italie en compte des réparations.”

Mr. Lloyd George said that this draft would enable the British Government to confiscate the German Embassy in London. Neither the British nor the American, nor the French Government proposed to confiscate the German Embassy in their capital. It was a great pity this question had not been examined earlier as he had no-one to advise him in regard to it.

(After some discussion it was agreed that the proposal of the Italian Delegation should be referred to the Reparations Commission.)

5. M. Clemenceau said he had received a reply from the Hungarian Government to the proposals for an armistice. This was read (Appendix II).

(After some discussion it was agreed that the question should be referred to General Bliss to advise as to the proposal of the Hungarian Government that the Military Commanders of the Hungarian Army, on the one hand, and of the Czecho-Slovak and Roumanian Armies, on the other, should be brought together to confer as to the best means of withdrawing behind the line proposed. The Military Situation in Hungary

General Bliss should be authorised to confer with the Czecho-Slovak and Roumanian delegates in Paris on the subject.

[Page 514]

President Wilson asked Sir Maurice Hankey to write to General Bliss on his behalf.)

6. With reference to C.F.70, Minute 6,2 Baron Makino said he was now prepared to agree to the draft declaration in regard to Religious Religious Missions: Missions (C.F.70, Appendix 6).3

Baron Sonnino said he was also prepared to agree. Religious Missions: Proposed Declaration to the Vatican

(It was agreed that those governments who are in diplomatic relations with the Vatican should communicate this declaration to the representative of the Vatican in Paris.

President Wilson asked Sir Maurice Hankey to communicate this decision to Mr. Lansing.)

7. With reference to C. F. 60, Minute 12,4 Mr. Lloyd George said that M. Venizelos was in favour of the calling of attention to infractions of the articles relating to the rights of Minorities being permissible only to States Members of the Council of the League of Nations.

President Wilson said that M. Benes was of the same view. Committee on Small States. References to the League of Nations of Infractions of the Articles in Regard to Minorities

M. Clemenceau said he had not asked the question to M. Vesnitch.

Mr. Lloyd George said that M. Paderewski had written him a long letter on the subject.

President Wilson suggested that a decision should be taken in favour of action only by members of the Council of the League of Nations.

(It was agreed that the right of drawing attention to infractions of the Articles relating to the rights of Minorities should be limited to States Members of the Council of the League of Nations.)

Appendix I to CF–73

M–269

My Dear Colleague: In accordance with the decision taken by the Supreme Council on June 6th5 and communicated to me by your letter of the same date, the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the United States of America, the British Empire, France and Italy, formed a Committee to examine the first 11 clauses of the Draft Political Clauses for insertion with the Treaty with Austria under the heading “Italy”.

[Page 515]

This Committee, which held two meetings, was made up as follows:—

The United States of America: Mr. Fred K. Neilson.
British Empire: Sir Eyre Crowe.
France: M. Pichon, represented at the second meeting by M. Berthelot.
Italy: Mr. de Martino for the first meeting.
Mr. Crespi for the second.

The Committee finished its work on June 14th by adopting:

(1)
Seven clauses (Articles 1 to 7) for insertion in the “European Political Clauses” of the Treaty, under the title, “Italy”.
(2)
A clause for insertion as Article 4 of clause VIII (sic) “general provisions” of Part III of the Treaty.

I have the honour to transmit to you herewith the text of these clauses, which were unanimously adopted.

The United States Delegation declared, in connection with Article VII of the European Political Clauses, that it reserved the right to ask the Supreme Council to put the provisions of this Article, relative to enemy property, in harmony with the general provisions on the said subject inserted in the Treaty, if the latter should be modified.

Pray accept etc.

P. Dutasta
[Enclosure 1]

European Political Clauses *

Italy

Article 1

Austria renounces, so far as she is concerned, in favour of Italy, all rights and title over the territories of the former Austro-Hungarian Monarchy situated outside the frontiers of Austria as laid down in Article 1 of Part II (Frontiers of Austria) and recognised by the present Treaty as forming part of Italy.

Article 2

Austrian nationals born and having their right of domicile (pertinenza), in accordance with the local administrative laws in the territories of the former Austro-Hungarian Monarchy transferred to Italy, will acquire Italian nationality ipso facto, and will lose their Austrian nationality.

[Page 516]

The above-mentioned Austrian nationals, however, who have only acquired domicile (pertinenza) in the said territories after May 24th, 1915, or who have only acquired it in consequence of their functions, will only be able to acquire Italian nationality by special permission of the Italian State.

Article 3

Within two years from the coming into force of the present Treaty, the Austrian nationals referred to in Article 2, Paragraph 1, if over 18 years of age, will be entitled to opt for Austrian nationality. Italians, being Austrian nationals, over 18 years of age, and having their domicile in the territories of the former Austro-Hungarian Monarchy, shall likewise be entitled to opt for Italian nationality.

Persons who have exercised the right of option above provided for must, within the ensuing 12 months, transfer their place of residence to the State in favour of which they have opted.

They will be entitled to retain the immovable property which they own in the territory of the State in which they had their domicile before opting. They may carry with them their movable property of every description. No export or import duties or taxes may be imposed upon them in connection with the removal of such property.

Article 4

Within the year which follows the coming into force of the present Treaty, persons belonging to one of the following classes may claim Italian nationality:—

(1)
Austrian nationals who have the right of domicile in the aforesaid territories, but who were not born there;
(2)
Austrian nationals who previously had the right of domicile in the said territories, or, whose fathers, or, if their fathers are unknown, mothers, had the right of domicile in that territory;
(3)
Austrian nationals who have served in the Italian Army during the present war, and their descendants.

The claim to nationality of the said persons may be rejected by the competent Italian authorities in individual cases.

Persons who have obtained Italian nationality by virtue of the present Article must within 12 months transfer their place of residence to Italy.

They will be entitled to retain the immovable property which they own in the territories of the former Austro-Hungarian monarchy, where they had their domicile before their change of nationality.

They may carry with them their movable property of every description. No export or import duties or taxes may be imposed upon them in connection with the removal of such property. Married women and children less than 18 years of age will follow the status of [Page 517] their husbands or parents so far as the application of the foregoing provisions are concerned.

When the father or, if the father is unknown, the mother, has not acquired Italian nationality, the minor may claim that nationality within the year following that in which he has reached the age of 18.

Article 6

Juridical persons existing in the territories transferred to Italy, who have been recognised as such by the Italian Administrative Authorities or by an Italian judicial decision, shall be considered Italian.

Article 7

Separate Conventions between Italy and Austria shall provide for the regulation of the interests of the inhabitants of the territories transferred to Italy, especially as regards their civil rights, their trade and the exercise of their professions, it being understood that Austria undertakes at once to recognise and to accept the rules laid down by the present Section concerning the nationality of the persons inhabiting, or born in the said territories, not to claim at any time or in any place whatever as Austrian nationals those persons who shall have been declared Italians by any right, to receive into its territory those persons who remain Austrian and to conform, as regards the property of Austrian nationals in the above said territories, to the provisions of article 297 and of the annex to section IV, part 10, (Economic Clauses) of the present treaty.

Those Austrian nationals who, without obtaining Italian nationality, receive from the Italian Government permission to reside in the said territories, shall not be subject to the provisions of the said article.

[Enclosure 2]

Part III

section vii

Article 4

No inhabitants of the territories of the former Austro-Hungarian Monarchy shall be disturbed or molested either on account of his political attitude between August 1st, 1914, and the date of the final recognition of sovereignty over those territories or on account of the settlement of his nationality by virtue of the present treaty.

[Page 518]

Appendix II to CF–73

WCP–1015

Telegram From Bela Kun to M. Clemenceau

(Translation from French)

M. Clemenceau,
President of the Peace Conference, Paris.

We acknowledge receipt of your telegram sent in the name of the Allied and Associated Powers.6 The Government of the Hungarian Republic of the Councils expresses once more its satisfaction at the decision taken by the Allied and Associated Powers to put an end to all needless hostilities. We declare solemnly that our Government will help you with all its power to translate this intention into fact. The Hungarian Republic of the Councils, whose people has accomplished the greatest revolution in its history without, so to speak, having shed (literally “spread”) blood, has never been and never will be the cause of useless bloodshed. The Hungarian Republic of the Councils was not established for the purpose of making military conquests or oppressing other nations; its object is to suppress all kinds of oppression and exploitation. We are firmly convinced that it is not the momentary events of military conquest but the great interests of humanity—the common interests of the solidarity of the workers—which will decide the frontiers of the new States, until the walls separating the peoples fall. Having made our fate depend on the fraternal solidarity of the workers of the whole world, nothing is further from our mind than a wish to prolong the horrors of war; every measure taken in the interest of Peace and of Justice will find a sure support in the Hungarian Republic of Workers. The Government of the Hungarian Republic of the Councils declares without hesitation, frankly and openly that not only will it satisfy but has already satisfied absolutely the demand of the Governments of the Allied and Associated Powers to cease hostilities immediately; it is not we who are the cause of the bloodshed which was continuing (sic) but the troops of the Czecho-Slovak Republic which, taking advantage of the fact that we forthwith suspended operations of war at the bidding of the Allied and Associated Powers, took the offensive; we were only able to repel that offensive by counter offensives the object of which was to render it impossible for them to continue their advance. In order to prove that we were not responsible for the bloodshed, we need only recall the fact that in the zone occupied by the Roumanians we have made no advance whatever nor even any attempts in this direction, the [Page 519] Roumanian army not having resumed its attacks against us. Nevertheless we must affirm that in view of the present Czecho-Slovak situation, the possibility of giving orders and carrying them out, the recall of our troops and the evacuation of the territories mentioned cannot be carried out within the period fixed by your telegram. We are still less able to do so in as much as we only received the telegram on June 15th at noon, although it was marked “Very urgent”. In order to carry out the recall of the troops and the evacuation of the territories without bloodshed, both on our part and on that of the Roumanians, we have to-day requested the Governments, that is to say the Commanders-in-Chief of the Czechoslovak Republic and of the Kingdom of Roumania to send to our Headquarters, or to a place to be designated, military Delegates furnished with full powers who will be instructed to settle in agreement with our Chief Command the methods of evacuation. Nevertheless, we are bound to observe with regret that the Allied and Associated Governments have not yet given us the opportunity to let them know directly the vital desires of the Republic of the Councils in both political and economic matters, and that they have only partially let us know even the frontiers. We now observe that these frontiers, contrary to the declaration of the Allied and Associated Governments to the effect that military conquests could not serve as a basis for the frontiers of the new States, seem to us to be frontiers drawn solely with a view to the right of the strongest. Within these frontiers it is absolutely impossible to create a normal economic existence and productivity, since it is impossible, in view of the present economic situation of the world and of the international traffic to ensure the mere subsistence of the population living in the delimited territories. We await the occasion to demonstrate before the Peace Conference, with the support of full proof, the truth of this assertion. At the same time we call your attention to our demand contained in our last message to summon together the Governments of the Peoples of the former Monarchy to a Conference where they will be able to discuss the liquidation of the former Monarchy as parties equally interested. We do not accept the principle of territorial integrity, we leave on one side the fact that territories inhabited exclusively by Magyars are to be robbed from our Republic of the Councils as a consequence of the drawing of the frontiers: we only ask to emphasize one point, namely that under such conditions even a system of Government with foundations as solid as ours could not possibly prevent the struggle for existence degenerating within these frontiers into a war of every man against every man. We declare once more that not only have we stopped all aggressive operations on our side but also have taken the necessary [Page 520] measures to order our troops to act in accordance with your bidding and to make the technical preparations for that purpose; and we beg you to be so good as to take the necessary action with the Governments of the Czecho-Slovak Republic and of the Kingdom of Roumania so that they may accede to the demands we have addressed to them in this sense; we beg you to instruct the above mentioned Governments to come into direct communication with us for the purpose of carrying out your orders and in particular to stop on their side also all needless bloodshed and all aggression, which only serve to prolong the horrors of war.

Bela Kun

Commissary for Foreign Affairs of the Hungarian Republic of the Councils
  1. Ante, p. 219.
  2. Ante, p. 470.
  3. Ante, p. 478.
  4. Ante, p. 319.
  5. See CF–50, p. 219.
  6. (note. I have not the necessary legal knowledge to be certain of the correct rendering in the English of the term “indigénat (pertinenza)” which occurs in Articles 2 and 3 of the “European Political Clauses.”—Translator.) [Footnote in the original.]
  7. Appendices V (A) and V (B) to CF–65, pp. 411 and 412.